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An attempt to observe and witness the subjective, inner experiences of the subject -Mona- who bravely opened all the locked doors into her private life and revealed twenty seven years of suffering from Bipolar Disorder. Coming from an environment where others barely understand the reasons for her mood swings, her will to participate emerged from a level of maturity and self-awareness regarding her predicament. Despite the social consequences the subject might experience as a Saudi female admitting to mental health problems, she looked at this project as liberation from her suffering by discovering an unfamiliar means of expression.

Through Mona’s mood diary, photography was used as a medium to trace the cyclical nature of the mood swings, by producing images that reflect the highs of mania and the lows of depression, the anguish and the despair. Apart from the fragility of the subject’s psychological identity within the disorder, there was also her sense of loss and grief for a life that could have been lived very differently.

 

This project came from a need to increase public awareness of Bipolar disorder in Saudi Arabia, as well as aiming to reduce the level of stigma associated with mental illness.